“We wait on a permission that never comes. We put these dreams of ours on hold because we tell ourselves “who am *I* to want this.” Who am I to ask for more? And yet, I can promise you this. No one is ever going to come knock on your door, pick up the phone and call you, or send you an email saying now, NOW, you get to go chase your dreams. You have to find a way to be that permission for yourself.” –Mary Marantz, What’s Next Tour 2013
A few weeks ago, a group of Knoxville photographers and I went to Nashville to listen to Justin and Mary Marantz‘s What’s Next Tour. We really didn’t know what to expect except that Justin and Mary are two very successful wedding photographers who surely have some good advice for us and there was 5 of us girls staying in a hotel that night, so it was bound to be a good time! A good time it was! Mary is amazing! She spoke from the heart and forced us all to think…..I mean REALLY THINK…..about ourselves. About what we want from our business, our career, our lives. There were tears shed from every eye as Mary really forced us to think about what our Why is. Why do we do what we do?
My why starts with my love of pets and my love of photography. They say that what you choose to do in your spare time is what defines you. (I’m not sure who “they” are, but “they” say a lot of good things, and some really ridiculous things, but in this case, I think it was a good thing!) In my spare time I was advocating the City of Knoxville and Knox County to put an off-leash dog park in Knoxville. (Dogwood Park at Victor Ashe Park became the first public dog park and now Knoxville has 7!) I was taking in the homeless dogs “just until I can find them a home”, until that home became ours. I was running around with my camera in my yard with my dogs just because I could. My husband and I were going on adventures, each with a camera in our hands, and then comparing photos when we returned. Know what I found out from all of this? That everyone sees the same thing differently. (Wow, that’s deep…..) My husband and I would take photos of the same thing, but our photos came out totally different–and I love that!
That is how I got started doing what I love. I love to capture the personality of my pets. I love to document our family adventures. I love to take photos of adoptable pets that will help find them homes. All with my camera. My days of taking in all the homeless dogs “until I could find them a home” and helping build dog parks has turned into being a mom to an amazing 2 year old boy, pursuing my dream of owning my own business and taking photos of the adoptable pets at the local animal shelter. And I love every minute of it!
So, what is MY why? I am a photographer and a business owner to live out my passion and show my son that it IS possible to live your dream, but it takes hard work and dedication. I am a pet photographer to capture the personality of the pet with images for his/her owners to have and remember that pet long after they are gone. I am a shelter photographer to help those dogs/cats/rabbits/hamsters/rodents find their forever homes. I can’t physically save them all, but I can use my talents to capture their personality in photographs and let the world fall in love with their adorable faces.
That is my why, what is yours? (Think about it, it’s a lot harder than you think!!)
Check out the video below from Justin and Mary’s Blog on the What’s Next Tour 2013! You will see a few familiar faces in there: